INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Taking part in GPCA’s Plastics Excellence Awards makes good business sense

This year’s awards showcased yet again the best in our industry as both individuals and organizations, writes Dr. Raed Al Zubi, International President, SPE, and judge on the panel

This year’s GPCA Plastics Excellence Awards (PEA), in its eight addition, showcased yet again the best in our industry as both individuals and organizations; those who have taken to heart the objectives of continuous process improvement and process development.

From our shortlisted candidates as well as winners, this year’s entries were not just about fundamental single-track research but demonstrated a more collaborative, complex, and multi-discipline approach. The solutions, process improvements and new potential products outlined in these entries further confirmed that the untapped potential of all stakeholders in our industry’s value chain is starting to bear fruit.

Benefits from winning an award

With an eye on the future, we need to note the following generally accepted benefits of not just participating but winning a merit award such as PEA. Being an award-winning organization can play a key part in (1) advancing the company’s status, products, services, and brand in the market place vis-a-vis the competition.

By being recognized in its field, a company demonstrates that it has an innovation-driven culture, commitment to continuous learning and that it is a problem solving organization. (2) Because of its increased visibility, the company’s attractiveness is now higher, thus, facilitating access to new customers and markets, and as important – prospective high caliber employees that would want to align their professional career with such an organization.

If we consider the first two benefits as being outward ones, then internally (3) increased company morale and motivation between employees to work together and collaborate on projects that have a positive, company-wide impact is another important motivation to apply for – an potentially win an award.

But let’s also not forget (4) the important positive message that a company sends to its existing customer base when winning an industry merit award such as PEA. Demonstrating differentiated know-how and capability as being recognized by your peers can also lead to increased customer loyalty and engagement.

Recognizing young talent

One additional benefit that the PEA offers, and that is very dear to our hearts, is providing exposure of our future leaders – the students taking part in Fikra “Rising star of our plastics industry” category.

Having seen first-hand the quality of this year’s applicants and the boldness demonstrated in tackling difficult and challenging research problems, I am certain that they will have a positive impact on any organization that employs them, especially the ones which have a work environment and culture that are centered on continuous improvement and innovation.

We are grateful to the universities, collages and research institutions for enabling such student research and facilitating collaboration with the industry, thus enriching their overall learning experience.

Drawing on the critical themes of recent GPCA industry events which highlight the industry’s challenged position due the changing regional and global competitive landscape; the need to drive more product specialization, product and process innovation is becoming paramount for long-term profitability, sustainability, and competitive differentiation.

Award entry is a must

The GPCA Plastic Excellence Award is a platform that enables our industry, especially downstream, to showcase their focused efforts and positively impact their competitive position. It is therefore our hope and recommendation, that participation in the awards is not an afterthought in the conduct of our industry’s business but a major Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or objective of an organization’s annual strategic, business development and marketing plan; at the start of the annual business planning that the participation in PEA, and winning, is one key element of this process. Simply put, GPCA’s Plastics Excellence Awards is good for business!

In closing, we need to recognize GPCA, its Plastics Committee, and dedicated team for their passionate resolve in support of this award. Every year, they dedicate great energy, time and resources to ensure that outstanding initiatives, collaborations, and fundamental developments that take place in the regional plastic industry receive the recognition they deserve.

More than a testimonial to the significance of the awards in the plastic industry calendar, this piece is a call for action, with which we hope to reach out to the many talented, innovative and creative individuals and organizations that deserve recognition for making a difference in an industry that has immense potential to grow and flourish further.

“By being recognized in its field, a company demonstrates that it has an innovation-driven culture, commitment to continuous learning and that it is a problem solving organization.”
”The need to drive more product specialization, product and process innovation is becoming paramount for long-term profitability, sustainability, and competitive differentiation.”